|News of the ASTM Board
ASTM International’s board of directors last met April 11-13 at ASTM International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. The following is a summary of reports made and actions taken by the board at those meetings.
For further details on any of the following topics, contact ASTM President James A. Thomas, ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Dr., PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959 (phone: 610/832-9598).
2006 Board Meeting
In order to support ASTM International’s commitments to advancing its global mission and working with China to meet its standardization needs in its burgeoning economy, the board voted unanimously to hold its October 2006 meeting in Beijing, China.
Appointment of the 2005 Nominating Committee
The board approved the 2005 Nominating Committee, which is charged with selecting the slate of candidates for 2006 ASTM directors and officers. The committee is composed of the three past chairmen of the ASTM board and six other individuals. The following people are serving on the 2005 Nominating Committee:
• Harold Bushfield, Alcoa Technical Center, Alcoa Center, Pa.
• Gary Durham, Geo-Enterprises Inc., Stone Mountain, Ga.
• Richard Henry, Kennywood Entertainment LP, West Mifflin, Pa.
• John Mullen, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
• Robert Thomas, National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, Va.
• Mark Winkeler P D George Co., St. Louis, Mo.
• Wayne N. Holliday, American Society of Nondestructive Testing, Columbus, Ohio (past chair)
• Richard J. Schulte, Brecksville, Ohio (past chair)
• Arthur D. Schwope, TIAX LLC, Cambridge, Mass. (past chair)
Revision to Bylaws
A board task group reviewed the ASTM bylaws and other control documents to ensure that the provisions in these documents comply with current Pennsylvania laws. For areas where conflicts with Pennsylvania laws may exist, the board voted to propose necessary revisions for a vote of the ASTM membership.
Report from Washington Representative
The board heard reports from ASTM Washington Representative Jeff Grove regarding the U.S. Standards Strategy and advocacy activities in Washington, D.C.
Grove provided the board with copies of the draft U.S. Standards Strategy, which at the time of the board meeting was up for public review. Since mid-2004, the strategy had been reviewed and revised by a committee convened by the American National Standards Institute and on which ASTM President Jim Thomas serves. The purpose of the strategy is to establish a framework that can be used by all interested parties to further advance trade issues in the global marketplace, enhance consumer health and safety, meet stakeholder needs and, as appropriate, advance U.S. viewpoints in the regional and international arena. More than 100 representatives of industry; small, medium and large enterprises; standards developers and consortia; consumer groups; and federal and state government participated in the development and review process.
In news of other activities, Grove reported on actions undertaken by his office to support the following policy objectives:
• Removing barriers to the acceptance and use of ASTM International standards worldwide;
• Advocating legislation that advances ASTM’s mission and business strategies;
• Ensuring that ASTM standards are properly adopted or referenced where appropriate by federal agencies and that government standards actions do not duplicate or conflict with the Society’s activities; and
• Building deeper and more consistent relationships with industry partners and trade associations that create opportunities for ASTM-industry cooperation and collaboration on policy issues of mutual interest.
ASTM Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono reported on a variety of global outreach initiatives.
The office of the Consortium on Standards and Conformity Assessment opened within the offices of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing. Chris Lanzit and Liu Fei are serving as executive director and director of operations, respectively. A formal opening ceremony was planned for May 23, with Chinese government and industry officials invited to attend.
Three interns from China will come to ASTM Headquarters in October and November for a one-month training program. Two will be from the China National Institute for Standardization and one from the Standards Administration of China.
Kono also reported that ASTM has invited Madame Zhang Yanhua, vice administrator of the SAC, Mr. Shu Wen Hua, president of the Shanghai Institute for Standardization and Mr. Zheng Weihua, deputy director-general of CNIS to its October board of directors meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Their participation will provide an opportunity for the board to better understand China’s standards system and determine ways that ASTM can more closely cooperate with these organizations.
In late summer, ASTM will again take part in a U.S./China Workshop on Standards sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the SAC.
Memorandums of Understanding
To date, ASTM International has signed MOUs with 35 national standards bodies worldwide. The latest MOU was signed by Jim Thomas and Diego Artiñano Ferris, president of the Costa Rican national standards body, INTECO, at a meeting in San Jose. While attending the meeting, Thomas had the opportunity to address representatives from Costa Rican industry and government on ways to build greater cooperation between ASTM and their country.
Kono reported that, over the last several months preceding the board meeting, Jim Olshefsky, ASTM director of committee services, provided virtual training courses to representatives of four MOU partners (from Bolivia, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and Zambia) on how to participate in the ASTM standards development process using Web-based electronic tools. More courses were planned for Colombia and Chile.
Open House for the Middle East
Lastly, Kono reported that ASTM will host an open house July 26-28 for the executive directors of the national standards bodies of 20 countries in the Middle East, North Africa, India and Pakistan in cooperation with the American National Standards Institute and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. As part of the program, ASTM will sign an MOU with Iraq’s Central Organization for Standardization and Quality Control.
Director of External Relations Teresa Cendrowsa reported that ASTM has offered a membership promotion contract, similar to that provided to the Shanghai Institute for Standards and China National Institute for Standards, to ASOCRETO, the Colombian trade association for concrete. ASOCRETO was selected because of its cooperation with ASTM and its ties throughout Latin America to the concrete and construction industry sectors that utilize ASTM standards extensively.
Cendrowska and Jessica Hychalk, manager, global cooperation, were to participate in the May meetings of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) in San Jose, Costa Rica. The two were working with U.S. Foreign Commercial Service officers in San Jose to arrange visits with several trade associations in Costa Rica. The meetings would provide an opportunity for ASTM to learn more about industry needs for standards and training in light of the recently signed MOU with INTECO.
Standards in Trade Workshops
ASTM staff members are actively involved in planning two of the three NIST Standards in Trade workshops being offered this year. These include the April SiT for Israel on Roadway Infrastructure and Safety (see this issue’s ASTM International News section for more on this event) and the August SiT on Energy with participants from India.
Cendrowska reported that an education task group, composed of five staff representatives from the Corporate Communications, Member Services and Promotion, Technical Committee Operations, and Global Cooperation departments, had been established to provide a central focus for academic initiatives within ASTM. The work of the task group is directed at four objectives:
• Enhancing the process of administering and the value of student memberships;
• Increasing the timeliness and value of the ASTM Web site’s informational content for instructors and students;
• Engaging with other individuals and organizations involved in standards education; and
• Establishing proactive outreach to educational programs.
Toward these goals, the task group has:
• Created a systematic process, linked to graduation dates, that will encourage graduating students to transition into participating memberships;
• Defined new informational content for a redesigned student page on the ASTM Web site;
• Begun collaborative efforts with individuals and organizations engaged in standards education, including the American National Standards Institute Committee on Education, the American Society for Engineering Educators, and Engineers Week; and
• Developed an academic outreach internship position for 2004.
Economic Research Study
At the October 2004 meeting of the ASTM board, a research project to study the impact of standards on business profitability was approved and funded. Since then, a staff task group has conducted an extensive discovery process on this complex issue; Cendrowska and Jeff Grove will benchmark work already done by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In addition, a request for proposals for a research study has been issued.
Corporate Development and Communications
Membership Manager Ellie Barkley reported to the board that the number of participating members in ASTM has steadily grown since 2002. The Society is still seeing declines in informational and organizational memberships. ASTM also saw an 18 percent gain in the number of non-U.S. memberships between 2003 and 2004. The greatest number of members from outside the United States are in Canada (1,312), India (245), Japan (179), and Germany (174).
Barkley also noted that, in 2005, the activities of the following ASTM technical committees are being actively promoted with the purpose of acquiring new members:
• A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel and Related Alloys;
• D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials, and Applications;
• D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants; and
• D13 on Textiles.
2005 has also seen the launch of the Organizational Membership Directory, an online listing of all organizational members of ASTM.
Lastly, Barkley reported that the number of student members as of the time of the meeting was 2,932. The student membership category will again be promoted to universities and professors worldwide in the fall 2005 semester.
Corporate Communications Director Barbara Schindler reported on the following activities.
• The ASTM Annual Report was under development at the time of this board meeting, to be published as an insert to the May issue of SN and presented at the Annual Business Meeting at the May Committee Week.
• Two articles on ASTM International were prepared and published in industry titles: An overview of ASTM standards for pipe and tube, published in the U.K. magazine Tube & Pipe Technology, and an article on Committee D35 on Geosynthetics, published in a Canadian environmental journal.
• Brochures, flyers, fact sheets and display booths were prepared for several ASTM committees, including E30 on Forensic Sciences, E27 on Hazard Potential of Chemicals, and F30 on Emergency Medical Services.
• A new brochure highlighting ASTM’s international capabilities, “Standards Without Borders,” has been published in English and is being translated into Spanish and Chinese. The Chinese version will be included as an insert in the 2005 edition of the annual Chinese-language SN.
• A section of the ASTM Web site dedicated to global initiatives is under development.
Technical Committee Operations
Committee on Standards
ASTM Vice President of Technical Committee Operations Ken Pearson reported on a request from a technical committee for COS to allow the committee to determine at some future time an exemption from the Form and Style Manual requirement F1.4 for some its standard specifications. This section states that “The use of effective dates in an ASTM standard that indicate when a standard or requirements within a standard become effective is prohibited.” COS denied the committee’s request, however, they developed guidelines for committees to use when requesting them to consider an exemption for the inclusion of an effective date in an ASTM standard. The board approved these guidelines.
Society Award Recognition
The board approved a request from Committee F14 on Fences for Society recognition of the new Jerry W. Gambrell Award. The award was established by Committee F14 in memory of its recent past chair, Jerry W. Gambrell, who died in August 2004.
The board of directors also approved the formation of two new technical committees, F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials (see this month’s feature section for more on this committee) and E56 on Nanotechnology (see the July issue’s feature section for more on this committee).
William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award
The board unanimously approved that the 2005 William T. Cavanaugh Memorial Award be presented to Dr. Jack E. Lemons, a long-time leader of Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices. Biographical information on Dr. Lemons will appear in the July issue of SN.
Jim Thomas reported that the October 2005 board meeting would be held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A joint ASTM/Canadian Standards Association workshop is being planned, to be held in conjunction with that meeting; the workshop will focus on the standardization strategies of Canada, China, Europe, Japan and the United States. Guests are being invited from these countries to participate (see the segment on China under Global Cooperation above). //